APPL Rules of Play
General: The following rules apply to all leagues in the APPL organization with the exception of the Green APPL, development league. For specific Green APPL information see the Green APPL FAQs and summary in the APPL website. All leagues are open to all men and women players. All APPL leagues will follow current IFP Pickleball rules other than noted below.
Age restrictions: Players participating in APPL leagues (RAPPL, SAPPL, TAPPL, WAPPL) must be 18 years of age or older. EVIL league play is restricted to ages 50 and above.
Play location: Play is limited to clubs and/or city parks in the league’s Region with the exception of the Casa Grande Region (CGR). All CGR matches are played at Dave White Park (Casa Grande).
Fees: Teams/players must be fee paid current prior to participating in the league per the published date.
Team Rosters and associated player skill levels: Team rosters must consist of players with skill ratings that are consistent with the skill group level. USAPA tournament ratings effective October 15 prior to the season start will be used for players with such a rating throughout the season. For all ratings, (USAPA, club ratings, self, etc.), it is the responsibility of the team captain (and club administrator where applicable) to assure the ratings are accurate and defendable to IFP and USAPA rating criteria no matter what the level. Rosters for the 4.5/5.0+ Skill Groups may only contain up to 50% 5.0 players. (This requirement only applies to the roster and not to what players play on match day). EVIL skill groups may contain players of lower skill levels
without LC approval.
Player UTPR rating exceptions: A player’s APPL performance has no effect on a player's UTPR rating. On occasion, a player’s UTPR rating does not accurately reflect the player’s skill level. To request a player rating exception, contact the League Coordinator. If your quarterly USAPA Tournament Rating changes upward during the APPL season and you wish to play for a higher skill level team contact the League Coordinator (LC). If your UTPR rating changed downward since the previous APPL season and you played in the associated skill group that season, you will be “grandfathered” and allowed to continue to play in the higher skill group.
Team members: Team members may play in more than one regional league (i.e RAPPL, SAPPL, EVIL) and more than one division (Mixed or Gender Dbls ) but can not be on more than one team in the same skill group within a regional league. (Example: a player may play on a Men’s division 3.5 EVIL team and a Men’s division 3.5 Red APPL team but not on two 3.5 teams within the Men’s 3.5 EVIL league. EVIL players may play in more than one skill group. APPL players may substitute in
higher skill groups where allowed per the substitution rules. A player who registers for a team
may not switch teams within the same skill group once the season has started unless approved by the
LC. The following requirements apply to the specific Regional Leagues:
East Valley Region (RAPPL), Southern Region (TAPPL), West Valley Region (WAPPL): Team members are not required to be from any particular club. Captains may recruit players from any location. Additions to the submitted rosters can be made prior to the last 2 regular season matches.
East Valley Region (EVIL): Team members must be members of the club they are playing for. Additions to the submitted rosters can be made throughout the season.
East Valley Region (Green APPL): There are no club restrictions for players in this development league.
Casa Grande Region, (SAPPL): Team members must be first from the SAPPL community participating. If there are not enough players to fill the community’s roster at a specific skill group level other players may be recruited to complete the team roster. However, out of courtesy, if the recruiting Community Administrator is recruiting within other SAPPL communities, then the Community Administrator shall let the other Community Administrator(s) within SAPPL know of the recruiting outside their community in the specific Skill Group(s) so that the ramifications of the recruiting can be understood by both sides. Additions to the submitted rosters can be made prior to the last 2 regular season matches.
Team names: Captains will submit a team name to the League Coordinator (LC). First come first served in case 2 submittals are identical.
Match Day Teams: On match day the captain will bring 6 players to play on 3 doubles teams. Line-ups identifying the doubles teams on the scoresheet will be exchanged prior to the start of the match after which they may not be changed. The 3 doubles team partners will stay together for that day’s match unless substitutions are made (see substitution rules). Captains or their designees are expected to be on-site at each match.
Match Process: To begin a match, the visiting teams choose serve, receive or end. Each doubles team will play 2 games to 11 (win by 2). Teams shall switch sides after the first game. At the end of the second games (first round), and the fourth games (second round), the visiting doubles teams switch courts to play the next home doubles team noted on the line-up/scoresheet. Therefore,
on team match day, each doubles team will play 6 games (three rounds): 2 games against the opposing line 1 doubles team, 2 games against the line 2 team, and 2 games against the line 3 team. 2 team points are awarded for each game won by a doubles team. If the losing team scores 6 or more points in a game they are awarded 1 team point. No team points are awarded for a score of 5 points or less. Whichever team earns the most team points in all the games played in a match will be the winner of the match and will be awarded a win in their league skill group team standings.
Breaks: A break of 1 minute is allowed between games. After each round of 2 games, a break of up to 5 minutes is allowed commencing at the time the last 2 opposing doubles teams in the round complete their 2ⁿᵈ game.
Time outs: 1 time out is allowed per game per team. Bathroom breaks should be taken between rounds.
Coaching: Per IFP rules coaching by anyone is only allowed after completion of each game and during time outs.
Substitutions during match day: Each team is allowed 1 substitute once play has begun. The substitute shall be identified on the line-up sheet and may only be used due to injury or illness. Substitutions are permanent for the remainder of the match. Players removed due to injury or illness may not return to the match. Substitutions may only be made with players on the current team roster.
Score Reporting: The home team captain must report the score within 48 hours. After the score is posted, the visiting team captain will have 48 hours to contest the score. The score will become official if not contested after the 48 hour time period.
Records: All captains are to keep records of all match results until the end of the season in case of discrepancies or disputes.
League Team Standings: The standings of each division skill group will be posted and updated on the website. Team standings within each skill group will be based on the number of team wins and losses. When all the matches are completed for the season, if there is a 3-way tie, the team with the lowest total team points will be eliminated followed by head to head win results with the remaining 2 teams. In case of a head to head tie the team with the highest total team points will be the winner.
Schedule and Locations: Teams will typically play a minimum of 2 matches against each team in its league Skill Group (1 - home, 1 - away). This may change depending on the size of the Skill Group. The (LC) will publish the schedule (see scheduling requirements). Changes to the published schedule must be reported to the LC. Schedule changes may not be requested less than 1 week before
the scheduled match unless due to inclement weather (see inclement weather rules). If a captain (from Team “A”) cannot field 3 doubles teams, either from their roster or the substitution pool (see Rescheduling Process), then that captain may bring 2 doubles teams to play (line 1 and line 2 on the scoresheet) and default all of its line 3 doubles team games. The opposing team (Team “B”)
shall still bring all 6 of its players as each of its team pairs will play against the opponent’s line 1 team and line 2 team. The scoresheet will reflect a score of 11 - 0 for each defaulted game in each round and Team “B” will be awarded 2 team points for each defaulted game (i.e. 4 points per round). Scoring of the games played will be the same as found in the “Match Process” section. If a captain can only field 1 doubles team pair the match will be defaulted earning the winning team 36 points and 1 win in the standings.
Inclement Weather: In the event a match cannot be played due to inclement weather the match can be rescheduled to play anytime prior to the end of the season. Captains must determine an agreed upon reschedule date within 72 hours. The rescheduled date must be reported to the League Coordinator (LC). Matches that are rained out during the last week of the season will not be rescheduled. If this happens the team’s winning percentage will be used to determine the final standings.
Scheduling Requirements: For APPL and EVIL leagues excluding SAPPL captains must submit their home team match location, days and times prior to the deadline published by the League Coordinator (LC). The form may either be completed on-line or emailed to the League Office (see website for details and form). The LC will publish the schedule once all team submittals have been received. The SAPPL League Coordinator will submit to the APPL League office, by the deadline required, the
schedule of play dates and match times to be held at Dave White Park.
Balls: For all APPL leagues balls must be Dura 40 or Franklin X and either new or in good condition. For all APPL leagues other than SAPPL, the home team supplies the balls. The SAPPL league will supply the balls for all matches at Dave White Park.
Kickoff Meeting: The League Coordinator will hold a captain’s kickoff meeting prior to each the start of each season to review new rules and introduce captains.
1.0 Substitution Pool Processes:
Substitution Pool Process - EVR RAPPL Only:
Captains needing a substitute (sub) player will contact the Substitution Pool Coordinator (SPC) with a sub request as soon as possible. Only one sub can be requested per match. The SPC will provide a sub at the requested skill level if possible. If no sub is available at that skill level, the SPC will advise the requesting captain and offer to see if a sub from one lower skill
level is available. The requesting captain may accept the offer to look for a lower skill level player or not accept. If the captain refuses to accept a lower skill level player, the captain may attempt to reschedule the match with the opposing captain (see below), field 4 players on the originally scheduled match date and default one line of match or forfeit the entire match. Players already on a team roster may request to be in a sub pool for the next higher skill level in order to experience play at that higher skill level if need arises. Players on a team roster may not sub for the same league at the same skill level. They may sub at the same skill level for other leagues (example: a 3.5 player in SAPPL may substitute for a 3.5 team in RAPPL). No subs are allowed during play-offs.
RAPPL Rescheduling of Matches
If a captain cannot field 6 players for the scheduled match, the captain shall request a sub from Substitution Pool Coordinator (SPC) and play the match as scheduled if one can be obtained. If the SPC is unable to provide a sub, the captain may provide the opposing captain with 3 alternative dates (after having checked with his own team for availability on the alternative dates). If the opposing captain cannot field a team on any of the alternative dates, the requesting captain must either default one line of the match or forfeit the entire match. (If court availability becomes an issue, contact the League Coordinator (LC) who may provide court time slots at certain city parks). The LC must be notified of any rescheduled match.
Substitution Pool Process CGR SAPPL Only:
The Sub-Pool will have a Sub-Pool Coordinator (SPC). The SPC will have an alternate SPC in case a captain is not able to contact the primary SPC. A captain cannot request a specific player from the Sub-Pool. All substitute players will go through the SPC. The Sub-Pool will be made up of Non-League Players at all skill levels and all League Players. The SAPPL Sub-Pool would also be
part of the APPL Sub-Pool. That would mean a SAPPL Sub-Pool player could possibly play up in Phoenix if they wanted to, however the SPC will not be contacting APPL Sub-Pool players for the SAPPL League.
A team captain with a short roster can request 1 substitute player or a maximum of 2 substitute players. That would mean a captain would only have either 4 or 5 players on their roster. If a team captain has only 3 players on their roster, then they will have to forfeit their games to the opposing team. The SPC would first contact the Sub-Pool list from the Non-League Players at the captain’s roster skill level. If the SPC cannot fine a player from the Non-League Players, then the SPC will contact the League captains at the roster skill level. If the SPC cannot find a substitute from the League captains at the roster skill level, then the SPC will try and contact a Non-League Player at one skill level down. If the SPC cannot find a substitute, then the SPC will contact the League captains at one skill level down to look for a substitute. If the SPC cannot find a substitute, then the captain with the short roster will have to forfeit the appropriate games for that match. If the SPC does find the substitutes, then the captain’s 6 player roster would be filled and there would be no forfeits.
The SPC will first try and find a substitute from the Non-League Players at the skill level needed. If he finds a player, then that player will drop to the bottom of the contact list for that skill level. That will allow each Non-League Player an equal opportunity to play a league match and be equally fair for all captains looking for a substitute. If a team captain has a 5-player roster and has called the SPC and the SPC was not able to find a substitute, they will have to forfeit the appropriate games. However, if they show up with 5
players at the match and one of the other teams have their 7ᵗʰ man sub and that player is willing to play, then they could play all the games in the match. The 5-player roster team would still have to forfeit the appropriate games but at least all team players would be able to compete and play their games in the match.